Thesis Title

Small-Scale Process-Oriented writing Assessment: An Action Research Study

Graduation Date

Summer 2008

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne Peters, EdD

Abstract

This study designed and implemented a small-scale writing assessment program that integrated the writing process into its design. The writing process was evaluated as a criterion of the assessment and a report targeting specific areas of improvement in writing was generated to help inform instruction. Specific writing needs of a school were met by including the new criteria, generating reports whose feedback informs instruction, and providing use of the school’s expected school-wide learning results in the assessment design. In general, very little research has been done on improving writing assessment test design. Researchers continue to call for more research in the area of writing assessment design because research and current education methods focus primarily on process-oriented curriculum and instruction, while most writing assessments evaluate writing based on a single-draft writing product. Results of the study showed the mean scores increased after each test-retest period, and an effect size of .24 during the first year increased to .27 during the second year. A survey was given to teachers at the school to determine the usefulness of the assessment. Ninety-seven percent of the teachers stated it was a useful tool to inform instruction. This study offers insight into two matters, design and implement a writing assessment that fulfills the specific needs of a school, and how to integrate an evaluation of the writing process into test design.

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